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Pope Benedict: Progressive Traditionalist (just like Jesus)
Posted By Eric Sammons On May 9, 2011 @ 11:55 am In Jesus Christ,Pope Benedict | Comments Disabled
At a recent address on the liturgy , Pope Benedict said the following:
The liturgy, … lives a proper and constant relationship between sound ‘traditio’ and legitimate ‘progressio’, clearly seen by the conciliar constitution Sancrosanctum Concilium at paragraph 23. … Not infrequently are tradition and progress in awkward opposition. Actually though, the two concepts are interwoven: tradition is a living reality that, in itself, includes the principle of development, of progress.
This idea of the relationship – and tension – between tradition and progress has been a theme of Pope Benedict’s for his whole ecclesiastical career. We see it in his most recent book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, in which BXVI notes that Jesus himself was also a progressive traditionalist – adhering to the Law (“I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”), yet also taking no issue with going beyond calcified ideas of how to follow God.
This has been the great internal struggle of the past 100 years in the Church. The first half of the 20th century saw the end of an era in which the practice of the Catholic Faith had become stale and even ritualistic. Then Vatican II unleashed a host of forces which wanted “progress” simply for the sake of progress. Throughout his life, however, Pope Benedict has consistently urged a progressive traditionalism, in which we stay in continuity with the faith of our spiritual forefathers, yet develop it more deeply to address the issues of modern man. To the world, this makes him appear inconsistent: he was a “progressive” before Vatican II, and then a “traditionalist” after the Council. Yet it is BXVI who has been consistent while the world around him sways to the latest fad.
We too must strive to be progressive traditionalists. We do not want change simply because the world demands it, yet we also should not be reactionaries who simply reject change because some want it. Instead, like Pope Benedict (and like Jesus), we embrace our traditions, yet realize that they develop over time so that we can more deeply draw closer to our Lord.
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 recent address on the liturgy: http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2011/05/churchs-liturgy-goes-beyond-conciliar.html
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